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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 35

post #511 of 3296
Quote:
I don't want to go back though as I feel the virtual surround on the Z is vastly superior to the cmss-3d to the Extreme Gamer Fatality.
 

games and settings ?? :D 

post #512 of 3296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povell42 View Post

One thing to point out.....the ACM seems to degrade(or mess with) the Surround sound effect mostly.  So if you have tested this out while listening to it in stereo, than you may not hear as much difference.
If you have maxed out Windows volume level and the turn the ACM all the way down, then balance issues are really likely to happen. I use Windows volume level at 10% and turn ACM down to around letter e in volume, no balance issues and the surround sound better and more accurate than it did on Forte. I think the ACM is meant for fine tuning the volume instead of replacing the global OS volume control.

Anyway, I highly prefer stereo mode in OpenAL over virtual surround (in other words, using line out since headphone mode will change how OpenAL sounds quite dramatically, like with X-Fi before). It gives much wider soudn stage yet you still hear things behind you and even above or below you. It sound pretty much identical as with X-Fi Forte with elevation filter and the other thing ticked in stereo mode, X-Fi sounds little bit more piercing but positioning is maybe a little bit less accurate in that mode.
Edited by Anarion - 4/22/13 at 7:50am
post #513 of 3296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povell42 View Post

 

That would explain why I liked the DSS2 the most. biggrin.gif  I guess it is official....I do not like Dolby Headphone. basshead.gif

The DSS2 isnt even a proper 5.1 channel mixer.  It takes the dolby signal and converts it to a 4.0 mix.  2 front speakers and 2 surround.  They lost the dolby headphone license and then went on to secure a different HRTF process.  A lot of people dont like it since it lacks the centre channel however I have never used it.  But I will say that DH sucks compared to SBX on my essence stx.  Too much reverb and hollow sounding.

post #514 of 3296
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

As far Dolby Headphone goes, only DH2 mode should be used, this one is the least echoy and doesn't add any significant amount reverb at all (I use it with my foobar2000 listening even), obviously you can't pick which mode to be used with those devices but in case of soundcards, one should stick to DH-2 mode.

In terms of amount reverb & unnaturalness it goes like:

DH-3 > DH-1 > DH-2
The Astro Mixamps, Turtle Beach DSS, and Tritton base stations use DH-2. It's not bad, but mine needed help from amping, and it's not the best my ears have heard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

The DSS2 isnt even a proper 5.1 channel mixer.  It takes the dolby signal and converts it to a 4.0 mix.  2 front speakers and 2 surround.  They lost the dolby headphone license and then went on to secure a different HRTF process.  A lot of people dont like it since it lacks the centre channel however I have never used it.  But I will say that DH sucks compared to SBX on my essence stx.  Too much reverb and hollow sounding.
See, I'm not even sure the popular notion about the DSS2 being only 4 channel surround is true. I read the Amazon post about it, and FWIR the tech support didn't know for sure how it worked, and the user assumed it only used 4 channels because the demo-video only showed 4 speakers. Thing is, it still is fed by a Dolby Digital Live 5.1 signal, which it converts to virtual surround for just two channels. Now, some GAMES only put surround cues in just the four corner surround channels, like Mw3 which only puts dialogue audio on the centre channel... but if the DSS2 didn't use the center channel, then there would be no dialogue while playing that game. I could be wrong, but my analysis makes sense to me...
Still, if SBX is an evolution and hopefully not a step back from THX TruStudio Pro, then that's what I'm most interested in trying. The DSS is basically with me for testing purposes, and to hold me over till I find a good deal on a soundcard.
post #515 of 3296
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

The DSS2 isnt even a proper 5.1 channel mixer.  It takes the dolby signal and converts it to a 4.0 mix.  2 front speakers and 2 surround.  They lost the dolby headphone license and then went on to secure a different HRTF process.  A lot of people dont like it since it lacks the centre channel however I have never used it.  But I will say that DH sucks compared to SBX on my essence stx.  Too much reverb and hollow sounding.


Yeah, The whole "DSS2 is only 4.0" is a huge rumor.  It actually started because in the manual that comes with it, it shows an illustration of only four speakers around a head.  I read through it thoroughly and in no way did I get the impression that it did not simulate 5.1.  

 

The illustration was on the page that describes the different speaker position presets and in that case the center channel would not move so it did not illustrate it since it is a stationary channel. 

 

I can tell you as someone who spent several hours testing it and comparing in to other "5.1" simulators it sounded like it had a virtual center channel.   Like I said it was actually my favorite external processor that I tested for virtual surround.   And "YES" it does accept Dolby Digital Live encoded signals. 

post #516 of 3296

Gonna touch again on ACM audio degradation. It seems the 1/8 inch jack on my ACM is faulty. I mean I plugged my MD Trumpets into it and was mortified. Now using my DT880 and the 1/4 inch jack on the ACM is fine. But I'm actually extremely pleased with using the included RCA to 1/8 inch adapter from the soundcard to my RSA SR-71a. Sounds great. Better than using my iPod Video 5.5G, $200 ALO LOD and the SR-71a. I posted this earlier but it took me a while to figure out that in order to use the RCA to 1/8 inch adapter and amp I had to set the card to speaker mode in the Creative control panel and set it to stereo.

post #517 of 3296
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoryGillmore View Post

Gonna touch again on ACM audio degradation. It seems the 1/8 inch jack on my ACM is faulty. I mean I plugged my MD Trumpets into it and was mortified. Now using my DT880 and the 1/4 inch jack on the ACM is fine. But I'm actually extremely pleased with using the included RCA to 1/8 inch adapter from the soundcard to my RSA SR-71a. Sounds great. Better than using my iPod Video 5.5G, $200 ALO LOD and the SR-71a. I posted this earlier but it took me a while to figure out that in order to use the RCA to 1/8 inch adapter and amp I had to set the card to speaker mode in the Creative control panel and set it to stereo.

 

Yeah I have read that if you want to listen in stereo, the best sound is achieved that way. By connecting an external amp to the line out (R/L) port on the back (not headphone out) and then use your amps functions.   But then again, I would assume that hooking it up this way to any sound card - even on-board sound - will be greatly improved. (depending on the quality of your amp)


Edited by Povell42 - 4/22/13 at 8:01pm
post #518 of 3296

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Povell42 View Post


Yeah, The whole "DSS2 is only 4.0" is a huge rumor.  It actually started because in the manual that comes with it, it shows an illustration of only four speakers around a head.  I read through it thoroughly and in no way did I get the impression that it did not simulate 5.1.  

 

The illustration was on the page that describes the different speaker position presets and in that case the center channel would not move so it did not illustrate it since it is a stationary channel. 

 

I can tell you as someone who spent several hours testing it and comparing in to other "5.1" simulators it sounded like it had a virtual center channel.   Like I said it was actually my favorite external processor that I tested for virtual surround.   And "YES" it does accept Dolby Digital Live encoded signals. 

 

 

 

 

So do you believe the DSS2 is superior to the mixamp?  It seems a lot of people say there is more hissing from the DSS2.  If it is indeed proper 5.1 HRTF then it would be a decent surround processor.

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Povell42 View Post

 

Yeah I have read that if you want to listen in stereo, the best sound is achieved that way. By connecting an external amp to the line out (R/L) port on the back (not headphone out) and then use your amps functions.   But then again, I would assume that hooking it up this way to any sound card - even on-board sound - will be greatly improved. (depending on the quality of your amp)

Not necessarily since most of the onboard and generic sound cards have such a low SNR.  Usually around 100 dB if i remember.  Wouldn't that basically be a "bottleneck" when the signal gets to the amp?


Edited by DJINFERNO806 - 4/23/13 at 1:09pm
post #519 of 3296
^^Yes it would, you would be amping the noise too. Looping it through external amp will degrade the snr even more than. It will never get better, only worse. If the source can't give enough power for headphones then it's another matter but the snr will degrade in any case.
post #520 of 3296
Alright then, read the entire thread and i didnt see this mentioned, if it was there i must have missed it.
In any case, i just got the SB Z 2 days ago, no issues with it at all, even got one of the new ones with gold caps on, but it seems that when i use the headphone port, and set it to headphones in creative control panel, it forces windows to 5.1, which.. kinda sucks for my HD555's compared to stereo, so i set it to stereo, and viola!, stero, but when i reboot, it resets to 5.1 >>

Anyone else have this problem?, id prefer to use the headphone port over line-out
post #521 of 3296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axaion View Post

Alright then, read the entire thread and i didnt see this mentioned, if it was there i must have missed it.
In any case, i just got the SB Z 2 days ago, no issues with it at all, even got one of the new ones with gold caps on, but it seems that when i use the headphone port, and set it to headphones in creative control panel, it forces windows to 5.1, which.. kinda sucks for my HD555's compared to stereo, so i set it to stereo, and viola!, stero, but when i reboot, it resets to 5.1 >>

Anyone else have this problem?, id prefer to use the headphone port over line-out

 

Really? That's the recommended way of setting up the speakers. :P I'd personally set it that straight away when I get the card if it didn't do it automaticly, it's a well known thing that with Creative cards (well I use it with Realtek onboard too) that windows speaker config should be set to 5.1 and "plugged in" / device in use to headphones in the sound card interface. This gives you a soundstage / positioning advantage, for gaming it's a big difference, for music listening not so, there's a small difference.

 

Basically I think Creative forced it themselves to put it up that way due to all the fuss over the internet about it and noticed it gives better results. I'd say why you think it sounds worse is that you're just used to the "stereo" sound and it's in your head that it sounds worse because "5.1 speakers" obviously must be wrong config for headphone use so in your mind it automaticly has decided it must be worse... just a guess. (psychology plays a big role in how we enjoy/hear things)


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 4/24/13 at 9:23am
post #522 of 3296
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

Really? That's the recommended way of setting up the speakers. :P I'd personally set it that straight away when I get the card if it didn't do it automaticly, it's a well known thing that with Creative cards (well I use it with Realtek onboard too) that windows speaker config should be set to 5.1 and "plugged in" / device in use to headphones in the sound card interface. This gives you a soundstage / positioning advantage, for gaming it's a big difference, for music listening not so, there's a small difference.

Basically I think Creative forced it themselves to put it up that way due to all the fuss over the internet about it and noticed it gives better results. I'd say why you think it sounds worse is that you're just used to the "stereo" sound and it's in your head that it sounds worse because "5.1 speakers" obviously must be wrong config for headphone use so in your mind it automaticly has decided it must be worse... just a guess. (psychology plays a big role in how we enjoy/hear things)
well my issue is that it forced itself to 5.1 when im using headphones, it kinda messes up music and movies a bit, stuff feels like its more around me than "right/left" even if its a 2ch song or movie, binaural dosent work obviously, since thats stereo only aswell
Edited by Axaion - 4/24/13 at 9:41am
post #523 of 3296

I believe that if you want to use the card for listening to music only, you should hook it up to the line out and use a dedicated headphone amp. The line out has superior s/n ratio and you can switch to Stereo Direct and have best possible sound for music out of the Soundblaster Z. 

For headphone out you have to switch to stereo in the windows settings manually every time unfortunately.

post #524 of 3296
Well thats just plain annoying, since i game, listen to music and watch movies almost equally -.-
post #525 of 3296
Mine most certainly does not revert to 5.1 mode when I select it. However, I run Windows 8 and do not have speaker setup thingy installed. It was messing around audio when I used line out with headphones, mixed it in some weird way.

Also stereo direct isn't necessarily best option. You can only get bit-perfect playback with it if you use 24-bit and 192kHz source. Last time I checked you had to enable resampler in Foobar if you used WASAPI because it only allows 24-bit and 192kHz in that mode.
Edited by Anarion - 4/24/13 at 3:14pm
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